Sunday, October 7, 2012

Thanksgiving week 1, and Half the Sky

This weekend was Canadian Thanksgiving.
The US celebrates Thanksgiving in about 6 weeks.
Since I began homeschooling, I spend far less time blogging, which I think is good, but I'm going to shoot for weekly posts during this time (because daily ones are laughably unrealistic!) Every week, I plan to post at least 7 things I am grateful for.

 This week's list is much inspired by the PBS Special Half the Sky (which is available to stream for two more days, and then will be available for purchase via pbs--maybe you can talk your local library into getting it. It was fantastic).
The title "Half the Sky" comes from the thought that half the sky is held up by women. The documentary (which is 4 hours long) is based on a book of the same title, written by a pair of journalists who were writing on economic and political issues in southeast asia, and realized that issue after issue related to women.
I recently heard the statistic that women do 40% of the world's work, but control 1% of the world's money. Throughout the world (especially in third world countries and impoverished regions, but truly everywhere) females are regarded as inferior. Sometimes they are even seen as completely expendable. Everything from gender-based abortions or infanticides to rape, forced prostitution, female genital mutilation, and keeping girls out of school to run the house (so that both parents can work)...the lists are long and painful. In watching the documentary, I was struck by two things: 1--how blessed I am to live where and when I do, and 2--how unconscionably selfish it would be if I did not share of my abundance.

And so, without further ado, this week's list of thanksgiving:

  1. I am grateful to live in a land of plenty, where even though I may get bored with what is available for dinner, I never have to go without dinner.
  2. I am grateful to live in a land where education is readily available to every child, regardless of race, sex, or income, where my parents never had to literally skip meals in order to pay for me to be literate, and where I do not have starve myself to educate my own children.
  3. I am grateful for the education that I have.
  4. I am grateful to live in a family with people with whom I can feel safe, without fear of being abused, abducted, sold, belittled, or held back from my potential.
  5. I am grateful that right now is hosting a sponsorship program, so that every new person who signs up (you can do it via me at this link) can send $25 of microloan to someone (of their choice) at no cost to themselves. If you feel able to do so (and truly, we all should) you can add some of your own money as well. If you do, then when it is repaid to you (often within a few months), you can turn around and re-loan that money to someone else. Kiva is a wonderful and reputable organization.
  6. I am grateful for the way that modern technology makes it so easy to share of our abundance with those who are in need. (Today, via kiva, I helped a woman in Peru buy a cow, a woman in Tajikistan buy a sewing machine, a woman in Albania send her daughter to school, and a woman in Ukraine buy goods for her store...all without having to leave my chair.)
  7. I am grateful for the ability of one person to be a force for good in the world. May I ever be so. May we all be so.

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